Katrina Kaif took the Bollywood industry by storm. As a British-Indian model, she wasn’t deemed as a conventional Hindi film heroine. However, the actress has proved her worth in various movies in the last few years. There is no denying that she has an adorable, princess-like quality. Add that to a bunch of badass roles and we have a commercially successful actress.

While she has had her share of comedy with ensemble movies such as “Welcome,” “De Dana Dan,” “Singh is Kinng,” or even romantic dramas like “Jab Tak Hai Jaan,” “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani,” and “Fitoor,” it is films like these in which Kaif really left her mark.

Check out Katrina Kaif’s most iconic badass roles!

1. Jasmeet ‘Jazz’ Singh – “Namastey London” (2007)

This movie is most definitely Kaif’s breakout role. Even though her Bollywood debut was “Boom” opposite Amitabh Bachchan, followed by films like “Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya” and a cameo in “Sarkar,” with “Namastey London,” Kaif delivered her first solid performance.

As an independent, strong-willed girl who grew up in London, she falls in love with her English boss but is forced into an arranged marriage with Akshay Kumar’s Arjun Singh, who falls in love with her instantly. Upon returning to London, she declares she’s going to leave him and will marry her boss. What follows is a series of funny, sweet events that make her realize her true destiny.

Her chemistry with Kumar found a strong footing with this film and they did several movies together soon after. Mostly, her father-daughter chemistry with Rishi Kapoor was portrayed well, too. Kaif handled the nuances of her character with much-needed development.

2. Maya Shaikh – “New York” (2009)

In another solid performance, Kaif starred in Kabir Khan’s thriller based on the 9/11 attacks as Maya, an intelligent, sweet woman in love with her best friend Sam (John Abraham), while their friend Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) falls for her as they study in the same university.

 

Post the attacks, Sam is detained as they round-up suspects and is tortured for months before his release. His time in prison transforms him and he ends up running a terrorist organization to take revenge on the FBI. Meanwhile, Maya marries him and despite knowing his intentions, and sticks by him until Omar returns into their lives.

Kaif played a struggling, loving wife and an equally strong character who knew what was right and wrong. In a standout scene, she discusses her husband’s issues while holding a gun on Omar, and her emotions brim right up. With “New York,” which earned her a Filmfare Best Actress nomination, Kaif further solidified her stance as an up and coming Bollywood actress.

3. Indu Pratap – “Rajneeti” (2010)

In Prakash Jha’s political drama, Kaif’s bubbly character was first introduced as a lovelorn woman, falling for Ranbir Kapoor’s Samar. As a family friend to a powerful family, she instead has to marry—and eventually, falls for—Samar’s older brother Prithvi (Arjun Rampal). When he dies in a coordinated attack, she begins her campaign to be elected leader of the party. Eventually, after several family events conspire, Indu ends up winning and becomes the chief minister.

Her journey throughout the movie is pivotal and more importantly, it brought out a side of Kaif’s acting we had never witnessed before. The intriguing, Mahabharata-like story of the movie spoke volumes of the intricacies of Indian politics and democracy, women empowerment, and Kaif was right in the middle of it.

Her journey throughout the movie is pivotal and more importantly, it brought out a side of Kaif’s acting we had never witnessed before. The intriguing, Mahabharata-like story of the movie spoke volumes of the intricacies of Indian politics and democracy, women empowerment, and Kaif was right in the middle of it.

4. Laila – “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” (2011)

In one of the best films of that year, Zoya Akhtar’s movie not only made us want to board a plane to Spain right away, it made us want to live exactly like Kaif’s character does. She’s a diving instructor, she wears extremely beautiful sundresses all year round, and is basically living the best life possible. When three friends, Arjun, Kabir, Imran—played by Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, respectively—travel to Spain for Kabir’s bachelor party, they meet Laila on the beach.

She turns out to be their instructor and befriends them, while falling for Arjun even though he is the complete opposite of her. She teaches him the importance of letting go, traveling, not being obsessed with work — all while looking flawless. When he leaves and she doesn’t get to kiss him, she hops on to a bike like a badass and follows him until she gets what she wants. “I can’t live with regrets,” she declares. How is that not inspiring?

She teaches him the importance of letting go, traveling, not being obsessed with work — all while looking flawless. When he leaves and she doesn’t get to kiss him, she hops on to a bike like a badass and follows him until she gets what she wants. “I can’t live with regrets,” she declares. How is that not inspiring?

5. Dimple Dixit – “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan” (2011)

 

While Ali Abbas Zafar’s film wasn’t the best in terms of plot, Kaif’s acting definitely stood out. An outgoing, loud, and brash woman with a kind heart, Dimple is chosen by Kush (Imran Khan) as the perfect bride for his brother Luv (Ali Zafar).

Instead, the two end up falling for each other and come up with schemes to get married without hurting anyone’s feelings. The movie may have not gotten the best reviews, but Kaif’s carefree portrayal of her character added another feather in her cap in the form of a Filmfare Best Actress nomination.

6. Zoya – “Ek Tha Tiger” (2012)

 

Starring in a Salman Khan film usually means you are a damsel in distress that needs saving by his bulky abs. That is the impression you get from Zoya in this Kabir Khan film. However, the strong nature of her character creeps up on you.

Salman plays Tiger, a top spy with RAW who falls for Zoya as he is on a mission. He discovers she is also an agent but works for Pakistan’s ISI. Instead of killing her, he lets her go. When they meet at a UN event in Turkey, they decide to leave their agencies and elope. Later, they get tracked down and attacked in Cuba.

The movie gives Kaif the ability to show off some action moves as she is more than capable of defending herself. The spy-action-love saga also showed us Salman and Kaif’s excellent chemistry—on-screen, at least.

7. Nawaz Mistry – “Phantom” (2015)

 

In another thriller, Kaif plays former RAW agent Nawaz, one-half of the two-member team on a mission to capture the terrorists that caused the 26th November attacks in Mumbai.

Along with Captain Daniyal Khan (Saif Ali Khan), she hunts down these terrorists and travels to Pakistan to take down other perpetrators. As they are on their final escape, Daniyal is killed while Nawaz is left to mourn for him. The movie received mediocre reviews for an unrealistic portrayal of the situation but Kaif’s badass character and performance was well-received.

This post was originally published on our partner website India.com and republished here with permission.

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